GERD Update #eleventyfive

The GERD has been worse the last few weeks, to the point of keeping me up at night and eating Tums like candy. The Pepcid helps, but I’ve had a couple of times where even that did not quell the pain 100%.

At the private dinner the other night, the doctor (who I was cooking for) was telling me that I needed to get GERD surgery or I might have a hiatal hernia that is causing the GERD. He was very sure that a Nissen fundoplication was the answer to my problems.

After some research, it appears that I am not able to have Nissen fundoplication to relieve my GERD since I’ve already had VSG surgery. There are many surgeons who are starting to do the Nissen WITH VSG due to so many VSG patients ending up with GERD or having it get worse. But of course, I missed that train. :(

I asked the Mexico surgeon about it and his only solution was RNY Bypass. There is nothing surgically I can do for this fucking GERD – other than go full on RNY bypass and I will NOT do that. If I’d wanted bypass I’d have gotten one at the outset. Bypass is a nasty business and it interferes with nutrition for the rest of one’s life. NO THANKS.

I can (and probably will) check to see if there’s a hernia causing all this strife. THAT can be fixed laparoscopically. But knowing my luck, it will not be a hernia, just a weak esophageal sphincter, which can only be fixed by the Nissen procedure.

I guess I’m left with GERD. I should buy stock in TUMS since I eat them like candy – literally after almost every meal. And Pepcid, which I have to take occasionally to sleep. Sucks.

The one shred of good news is that the Pepcid is not binding me up too badly, which means it is helping without the horrible side effects of PPIs.

I guess I’m now a part of the chronic illness club. Awesome. I am not happy about this, but there is nothing I can do but treat symptoms. Just like Nick, who can only treat his fibromyalgia as it pops up. Sigh.

Lunette’s Zucchini

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Lunette's Zucchini

This is a side dish from a restaurant I worked in back in the day. It's an unusual pairing of flavours, but VERY savoury and delicious! This is a great recipe to have in your arsenal for when the zucchini comes in and you're swimming in them!
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword dill, sauteed zucchini, worcestershire, zucchini
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Author misangela

Ingredients

  • 1-2 zucchini, 1/4-1/2" slices about 2 cups
  • 1 medium onion, halved then sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbl L&P Worcestershire sauce +/- to taste
  • 2 Tbl butter
  • 1 Tbl dry dill 2Tbl fresh, to taste
  • S/P to taste
  • water as needed

Instructions

  • Heat a large skillet over med high heat. Add water, zucchini, onions and garlic. Bring to simmer.
  • After 3-4 minutes, add butter and dill. Cook zucchini until soft. Do not brown, drop heat to medium if the water is evaporating quickly. Add more water if needed until the zucchini and onions are cooked - about 8-10 minutes. There should be no water left in the pan.
  • Finish with L&P and check seasoning. You want a balance between the L&P and the dill, so use your judgement when finishing the dish.

Notes

Photography by Sheryl Julian from SimplyRecipes.com. 
This side is excellent with lemony chicken or fish. 

S&H Green Stamps

I was posting about using coupons today, and had a memory triggered! I was wondering how much money I’ve saved over my lifetime by couponing at the grocery and wondering where I got the idea to coupon at all, since my mother never used a coupon. Then I remembered sticking Green Stamps into books with my Gran, and I thought that perhaps THAT was what got me into couponing. I can’t remember why I did it, but I’d really love to know the tally of all the money I’ve saved! I’ll bet it would buy a nice house!

photo of S&H Green stamps
S&H Green Stamps

Anyway, about those Green Stamps. They were S&H Green Stamps and they were the first loyalty program ever invented, running from the 30s until the 80s. I remember them in the 70s when I was a kid. My Gran got them for shopping at White Store (grocery in E TN). We’d stick them into books then cash them in for merchandise, but I can’t remember anything in particular that she got with them.

I was wondering if Green Stamps were still around, and THEY ARE!! They are now called GreenPoints and they are offered at a few stores in the NE only. They used to still cash in the old stamps if you find your grandma’s stash and it’s over 60 books, however, according to greenpoints.com, they no longer accept them. Boo!

It’s always nice to have childhood memories pop up. I especially like it when I remember things about my Gran. She was quite a lady! Please go read a little about her in my tribute to her!

Angela’s Kadhi

I saw this soup on Bon Appétit the other day and was intrigued. The woman who wrote the recipe was very enthusiastic about it, so I wanted to try it. I made the recipe as it was written, but I really disliked all the whole spices. While the Indian woman loved chomping cumin seeds and whole peppercorns, I found the cumin very overpowering to the dish. Here is my version that is served without the seeds. I also altered some of the other ingredients. Try to find asafoetida! It is a strong spice blend, but does add umami in a very Indian way. (You can order it from Amazon.)

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Angela's Kadhi

This is an Indian turmeric yogurt soup. It is traditionally served with all the spices whole, but I found it to be unappealing to chew on cumin, black peppercorns and cloves. This is my version that is seedless.
Course Soup
Cuisine Indian
Keyword Indian yogurt soup, kadhi, yogurt turmeric soup
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Author misangela

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk yogurt, not Greek
  • 1/3 cup chickpea flour sub a/p flour (but do try to use chickpea)
  • 1 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp whole black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp black mustard seeds sub plain mustard seeds
  • 3 Tbl ghee 1.5 Tbl used in two places; sub olive oil, but ghee is preferred
  • 2 tsp fenugreek seeds 1 tsp used in two places
  • 2 tsp whole cumin seeds 1 tsp used in two places
  • 2 tsp kosher salt more if needed
  • juice and zest of one lime
  • 3 dried chiles chile de arbol is perfect
  • 1 tsp asafoetida specialty Indian spice; sub 1/2 tsp onion powder + 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne or Indian red pepper
  • 2 tsp sugar optional, I like the balance it gives
  • 4 cups water

Instructions

  • Mix together the yogurt, chickpea flour and turmeric. Add one cup water and whisk until smooth. Set aside.
  • In a large soup pot over medium heat, add 1 1/2 Tbl ghee, cloves, bay leaves, peppercorns, mustard seeds, 1 tsp fenugreek seeds and 1 tsp cumin seeds. Cook spices in ghee until the mustard seeds pop. Turn heat down to low. Add 3 cups water and the yogurt mixture. Season with 2 tsp salt and lime zest.
  • Turn heat to med high (high if needed) and stir constantly until soup reaches a boil. When a boil is reached, turn down heat to retain a light boil. Do not stir at this point and put a long handled wooden spoon in the soup to keep it from boiling over. If it starts to boil over, reduce the heat a bit. Cook at a light boil for 10 minutes (or until desired thickness).
  • 5 minutes before the soup is done, put remaining ghee in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Add remaining fenugreek and cumin seeds and toast until cumin browns a little. If you don't want so much cumin, reduce amount or omit it. Remove from heat and add chiles, asafoetida and cayenne.
  • When the soup has reduced and become creamy, take off the heat and strain out the spices. Stir in half the lime juice (or more if you like) and sugar. Check salt levels. You can serve with the spices in the ghee or strain them out. Do not eat the chiles, they are for flavoring only. For service, I swirl the spiced ghee on top of the soup as pictured, but you can stir it into the whole pot of soup if you wish.

Notes

You can serve kadhi over rice if you want a heartier dish. 
Ghee and asafoetida are specialty items, but worth tracking down if you want an authentic Indian flavor. 

Interesting GERD Development

I am still wrestling with GERD, and I have discovered an anomaly!

I started taking probiotics (Vitacost brand) about a month or so ago. Probiotics are supposed to aid in managing GERD symptoms and I’d been taking Kyo-Dophilus before I got the Vitacost brand without issues. Soon after starting these, I began to have bouts of severe hypersalivation (called “water bashing”) which is caused by acids touching the esophagus an causing an automatic salivary response. In addition to having a LOT of saliva, swallowing it would make the GERD even worse! It was keeping me up at night.

I was even getting GERD spikes during the day and occasional water bashing during the day! I thought I was doomed to start back on PPIs to get rid of this nasty symptom. As it was, I was having to take Pepcid (H2) several times a week just to sleep.

Tuesday I decided to look up probiotics and GERD. Lo and behold, there IS actually a correlation to taking them and having worse GERD symptoms! Sigh. I, apparently, am one of the people who have bad results with probiotics. LUCKY ME! I stopped taking the probiotic yesterday and the GERD has already backed off a bit. I think it’s the Vitacost brand that has something in it that does not agree with me. Nonetheless, probiotics are OUT.

I’m still having some water bashing – I had a couple of short bouts last night. I’m hoping it will cease now that I’m off the probiotics. The minor good news is that the H2 (Pepcid) does not seem to cause complete constipation, so I think I can safely use that for nighttime GERD.

So, if you are taking probiotics and your GERD is no better, try stopping them. They might be making it worse!

This fucking issue (GERD) is a moving target. UGH. I’m mostly OK, but it is something I deal with every single day. BUT would I choose to skip VSG knowing that I’d have GERD? NOPE. It’s the best thing I’ve ever done and I’d do it again. It’s worth playing the odds that you won’t have GERD like I do. I think most do NOT. But I will tell you to get OFF PPIs as soon as you possibly can, so your body does not become dependent like mine did. GERD is no joke!